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Topics - Ali

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Hello British AGSers!

(Relax, foreign AGSers, this doesn't concern you.)

Having discovered in this thread that these boards are swarming with beard-hugging tree-wearing socialists I'm asking you to respond to the:

It asks delightfully leading questions like "What else can be done to make patient choice a reality?", assuming that we believe that the introduction of free-market competition to the NHS spells anything other than disaster.

I am asking all the Brits I know to respond with a talking-loudly-and-crossly exercise, and that includes YOU (unless it doesn't).

- Ali


I'm compiling Nelly Cootalot in AGS 3.2.1, and I've noticed a bug which I don't think used to occur in the old version of the game.

If the mouse is over a character/object/hotspot at the point when the game goes back to the dialogue options, the @overhotspot@ GUI appears, and then stays on the screen. Weirdly, it disappears if I move the mouse over the menu buttons, though I can't see any reason for that in the script.

I can switch the @overhotspot@ GUI off when the dialogue GUI is visible in rep_execute_always, but I can't think of a reliable way of switching it back on when the dialogue ends. Any suggestions?


- Ali

Apart from the stylistic incongruities between the two games, a tester has told me that an updated version of Nelly Cootalot using DX9 doesn't seem to work if The White Chamber is installed. Apparently winsetup.exe will not run if TWC is installed. When it's uninstalled, winsetup.exe works, but if TWC is reinstalled winsetup.exe stops working again.

(Please note that this is a beta version of Nelly Cootalot v1.6, not the currently available v1.5 which does not conflict with TWC).

The report I got is this:

I just removed "The White Chamber" from my computer (it runs under Wintermute engine) and Nelly 1.6 winsetup.exe works fine... so strange.

I just install again "The White Chamber" and the error come to life again! I attach to you the win7 error message. It's in spanish, but the sentence is:

"Some game's essential files can't be loaded. Reinstall the game and try again please."

The more strange thing is that the error's icon is from "The white chamber". So, I execute Nelly's winsetup.exe and the error come up with an icon from "The white chamber"... crazy world!

So the error appears to come from the white chamber, even though Nelly's setup is being loaded...?!

I'm going to download TWC as soon as I can to try and replicate the error, but perhaps you guys know of a possible explanation?



Advanced Technical Forum / Anti-Aliased TTF looking bad?
« on: 21 Mar 2011, 13:02 »
Nelly Cootalot has almost been translated into Spanish. To achieve this, I had to switch to a true-type font. I also went through and upgraded the game to DX9, adding anti-aliased edges for the character sprites.

However I just got a complaint from the translator that the font is hard to read against light backdrops:

This was the clearest font I tested, but the outline is very faint. Is there any way to embolden it? Apart from downgrading to 16 bit colour!

General Discussion / Html help? - Yet ANOTHER Question
« on: 14 Mar 2011, 17:07 »
Hi guys, I know there are a few people around with web experience and I'm stuck on this issue.

I have a reasonably large graphic I want to use as a link, and when the mouse hovers over it I want an element of it to change to a different graphic (like status text when hovering over a hotspot in an adventure game).

My problem is I can't find a way to do this without replacing the entire jpg with another jpg in the CSS, which seems inefficient. I want to find a way of making the browser treat two images as one link, changing one of the images when the mouse hovers over either of them. I also want to avoid javascript because this is the front page of the site and I don't want it to be blocked the first time it loads.

Can anyone suggest a solution?


I am working on my custom dialogue module, which previously did not use AGS's dialog scripts to allow for a custom speech functon. I now want to be able to use the built-in scripts to make things like translation / voices easier to add at a later date.

My problem is that there doesn't seem to be a function for running a dialogue option (the equivalent of clicking on it) in the script. Is there anything you can suggest?

Alternatively, is there a way of getting AGS to wait before drawing the custom dialogue window to allow me to fade in a backdrop and stop allow the smooth scrolling to stop? Because the built in custom dialogue system runs on the non-blocking thread I can't make this work.

Just in case there are still any other die-hard fans of Homestar Runner here in Free County AGS, I thought it worth posting the Brothers Chaps second cartoon this year:

A Decemberween Mackrel

Most of the threads I found speculating about it's death were followed by people saying, "Who still goes there, what is this 2004?" or shouting, "How dare they betray their fans, they should be ashamed!" but I don't care. I love it, and I loved SBCG4AP.

Hopefully this will make your Decemberweens go with a little more... Hot Pooey.


Naturally, the cake was a lie. This just a wee question for Photoshop users.

I've recently moved to a newer version of Photoshop and I'm seeing big change in dark tones when exporting a file as a PNG. Images created on the old version look very milky unless I select 'Proof Setup: Monitor RGB' whereupon they look more like they did before. It doesn't seem right to work on an image with 'Proof Colors' selected, though.

Here is a screenshot of an image in Photoshop (left) compared to Irfanview.

Any suggestions on what settings or color profiles I should be using?

- Al

Advanced Technical Forum / Illegal exception
« on: 06 Mar 2010, 16:08 »
Hi CJ,

I got very close to solving this problem, but now I've managed to cause a crash in my game which occurs every time I try to run it. I've tried commenting out recent changes, but it hasn't helped. 

The message is:

An exception 0xC0000005 occurred in ACWIN.EXE at EIP = 0x0043FBE7 ; program pointer is +379, ACI version 3.12.1074, gtags (0,0)

Any suggestions? Thanks for your time,


It was pointed out in the thread for my Smooth Scrolling and Simple Parallax module that it would be better if the screen only started to scroll when the player was near the edge of the screen.

The way scrolling worked in lucasarts classics was quite elegant. When the player moves near one edge of the screen, the viewport pans to bring them into the centre. I've found a way of making my script (which is really Steve McCrea's) do that, the WIP script is below.

The trouble is when the player suddenly changes to walk in the opposite direction. Currently the screen continues to scroll until it reaches a point the player left when they changed direction. Instead, I need to make the screen come to stop quickly but smoothly even if the player is still near the edge of the screen.

If any of you clever scripting types can see the solution, I'd be grateful for a hint!


Well, I have it working. To detect which direction the player is moving in I'm checking the loops.

I think this is a clumsy solution, because it could be fooled if the character was moving but locked to a particular view. Is there a foolproof way of finding out which way a character is moving?

It seems the Radiohead singer posed as a member of the press to gain access to the Cophenhagen climate talks. He talks about them with a lucidity that is rare in musicians talking about important issues. There's a short interview with him on the BBC website, and I thought some people around here might be interested:

What's worrying is, he says, "you've just got to try to be positive". When Radiohead's message is "be positive", the situation must be pretty dire!

General Discussion / Unity 3D game engine now freeware
« on: 01 Nov 2009, 00:10 »
I just read that the 'indie' version of Unity, which previously cost $200, is now available as freeware. It can build games for PC, Mac and the Web, and the graphics in the demo look quite pretty.

It doesn't seem to have a built in text parser, but you can't have everything.


I recently imported the tech demo of Nelly II into AGS 3.1 and the GUIs no longer fade in and out correctly. They appear to 'flash' because 100% transparency is rendered as solid white which fades away to reveal the GUI. This happens where the GUIs have alpha channels and where they do not.

The same thing occured when I replaced my code with the new Tween module. I couldn't find this problem when searching, I'd be grateful for any help.

- Ali

Adventure Related Talk & Chat / Mental Repairs, Inc.
« on: 22 May 2009, 18:19 »
I just had a lot of fun playing a short freeware Wintermute game called Mental Repairs, Inc, made by Eshaktaar who created Murder In A Wheel with AGS. Turncoat though he may be, I thought I would recommend the game to anyone like me who missed it when it was released.

The game's puzzles are inventive, the script is witty and the graphical style is very polished. It can be downloaded from the developer's website.

I'm sorry if this is old news. If it is, please let me know if you've discovered any gems recently.

- Ali

General Discussion / I moved to London... help!
« on: 04 May 2009, 12:14 »

I just moved to London to study, and I don't know the place very well. Me and Nelly are going to be flat / shared house hunting soon and we wanted advice on where we should be looking. Then I though, who better to ask than the lovely chaps and chappettes on the AGS forums.

If you know London, I'd be grateful for a little advice on where might be affordable, and reasonable pleasant (i.e. places where we won't be stabbed).

Metropolitanly yours, Ali

General Discussion / Odd Adverts
« on: 31 Mar 2009, 13:22 »
Hi guys,

I was amused by these oddly mismatched adverts which appeared when I logged into googlemail:

I rather think if I followed up the first, I wouldn't need the second. I'm also disturbed that including the word 'spirit' in an email lead googlemail to think I'm into faith healing.

This being only faintly amusing, has anyone else spotted any odd adverts or misguided marketing?

Shifter's Box crashed after the splash screens when I ran it in DX5 mode. I changed it to DX9 and it plays perfectly, but I thought I'd better post the error message and crash dump. If a non-agser had experienced the same problem they might not have known how to get such a lovely game working.

Illegal exception
An exception 0xC0000005 occurred in ACWIN.EXE at EIP = 0x0052F6FF ; program pointer is +77, ACI version 3.11.1057, gtags (0,19)

AGS cannot continue, this exception was fatal. Please note down the numbers above, remember what you were doing at the time and post the details on the AGS Technical Forum.

Most versions of Windows allow you to press Ctrl+C now to copy this entire message to the clipboard for easy reporting.

An error file CrashInfo.dmp has been created. You may be asked to upload this file when reporting this problem on the AGS Forums. (code 0)

Crash Dump file here

Hi chaps,

Has anyone succeeded in running Discworld Noir on XP? My version crashes after the opening spash screen. Searching seems to suggest that there are patches available, but most of the links seem to have been removed, and the ones I found weren't in english and were on a suspicious looking site.

I'd appreciate any advice,


Cobbling together this tech demo for Nelly Cootlot II has identified some points which could improve the way AGS caters to hi-res games. I would be grateful if you would let me know your thoughts on the following suggestions. I know some have been suggested and rejected before, but in the light of higher resolution games I think they are relevant.

Automatically re-importing sprites from files
In the tech demo above Nelly has around 400 frames for walking and multiple talking views. They don't take very long to render, but painstakingly replacing the sprites in the editor is extremely time consuming. Escecially since I've done it four or five times now trying out different styles (and she's going to have several outfits!) It would be a terrific boon to be able to select sprites or sprite folders and simply click re-import. Since AGS now logs the file path, perhaps this would not be such a challenge to implement?

Adjusting the walking direction based upon horizon
The walking algorythm seems to choose which direction a character is facing as if they were viewed from the top down. For games like Ben Jordan with high horizons, this looks fine. Nelly Cootalot, and the tech demo for Nelly II have very low horizons, and so the character often appears to be facing left when she should be facing up-left.

From my point of view the solution would be to have a vertical slider for each room to indicate camera angle. The top could represent a 100% (top-down) and the bottom 10% (almost side-scroller). Before the engine chooses the view to display, the angle could be scaled based upon the percentage set on the slider.

16 walking views
High-res games are far more likely to have sprites rendered using 3D or 2D animation software, rather than drawn pixel-by-pixel or by tablet. I think the argument that no one will ever draw 16 different walking views will become less and less relevant. 8 walking directions looks much clunkier with larger and more detailed characters than it does in low-res. I think some people would use 16 directions if they were available.

Um... 1024x786
Would DX9 make it a realistic possibility?
EDIT: Well I'd heard rumours... Hurrah!

I make these requests like an ungrateful child, because the marvelous addition of AGS 3.0 and DX9 has made AGS far more capable of producing beautiful hi-res visuals, but these niggling points are something of a hindrance. Please let me know your thoughts.


- Ali

Critics' Lounge / Nelly Cootalot II - Tech Demo
« on: 21 Sep 2008, 15:33 »
Hello folks,

After finishing Nelly Cootalot I decided to make a game that really that was thoroughly original and would really stretch our understanding of art and the adventure game format.

But, instead of doing that, I've started working on this:

Download Nelly Cootalot II Tech Demo (45mb)

No puzzles
800x600 resolution
Parallax and Vignette effects
Custom Dialogue / Speech GUIs
Patchy voice "acting" recorded with a �1 microphone.

I'd like your opinions on this tech demo for a sequel to Nelly Cootalot. Particularly I'd like to know your thoughts on:

The visual style and interface,
The voices (listening to them makes me cringe, how about you?),
How you feel it compares to the look of the first game,
And whether the game runs successfully on your computer.

Of course any other comments are welcome. I'm very aware that the download size is three times as large as the completed original game, and this is just one room!. It's a consequence of multiple talking animations, which you'll see if you play. I'd like to know if you think the extra work and filesize is worth it. If you're on a slower connexion, I'd still appreciate your thoughts on the image above.

I hope you are pleased to see this project beginning, but remember that (apart from a few other completed characters) this represents the entirety of Nelly II so far. It will be a long while before a proper demo appears in the Games in Progress Thread.



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